Oct. 21, 2006
Providence, RI - Overcoming inconsistent hitting, the Brown volleyball team (8-12, 4-4) defeated the University of Pennsylvania in five games at the Pizzitola Center on Saturday, 25-30, 30-25, 31-29, 27-30, 15-7. The key factor for the Bears was their success on the attack -- they hit .355 in the three games they won and just .146 in the two they lost.
The key sequence in the first game came with the score tied at 14. The Quakers' Laura Black served five straight Penn points, four of which game on aces. The Bears were able to cut the deficit to one several times, but never could get the tying point. In all, seven of Penn's points in the first game came on service aces.
In the second game, the Bears came out firing, building a quick 8-1 lead that they eventually extended to 10 points at 15-5 and 20-10, and rolling to an equalizing win. During that game, junior Katie Lapinski (Niles, IL) recorded her 1,035th career dig, putting her into fifth on Brown's all-time list. The third game was the epitome of a seesaw battle, as neither team built a lead larger than three points. With Penn up 29-26 and serving game point, Bruno stormed back. Senior co-captain Shawn-Elyse Tulac (Claremont, CA) and junior Julie Mandolini-Trummel (Crystal Lake, IL) each recorded two kills and assisted on a block that brought Brown all the way back for a win.
A similarly gutsy late rally could not save the Bears in the fourth game, however. With the game tied at 12, Penn scored 13 of the next 15 points to build an 11-point lead, 25-14. After a Brown timeout, the home team came back again, cutting the lead to 29-27 before Penn finally got the winning point. Fortunately for Bruno, that surge fed into the fifth game, during which the Bears cruised to an easy win.
There were superlative performances all around for Brown. Senior Rikki Baldwin (Magnolia, TX) had a match-high 23 kills to go with a .386 hitting percentage and 13 digs. Tulac was right behind her with 21 kills and a .404 hitting percentage as well as three block assists. Mandolini-Trummel had seven blocks, two solo, and served three aces to accompany her 12 kills. Defensively, sophomore Lyndse Yess (Eugene, OR) led all players with 27 digs, while Lapinski recorded 22. Sophomore Natalie Meyers (Huntington Beach, CA) had 56 assists and 15 digs, joining Baldwin with a double-double. Senior co-captain Jessica Kondrick (San Diego, CA) turned in her second quietly solid game of the weekend, finishing with nine kills and one error on 17 attempts for a .471 hitting percentage, a match high, and two blocks.
Next week, the Bears will travel to Columbia and Cornell. Earlier this season, Brown lost a hard-fought five-game match to the Big Red before rolling over the Lions, 3-1.